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The Delay of Progress

In Her Talk on Racial Politics, Brittney Cooper Examines Different Conflicts

— April 12, 2017 — Keynote Trends
Brittney Cooper, a cultural theorist, looks to the many narratives that have been hidden by so-called "mainstream history" in her talk on racial politics. She introduces the subject by telling her audience that time has a race in the United States, and it is white.

By looking at race through a biased lens that doesn't include the people that have been wrongfully marginalized throughout history, ideas that black movements have had a lesser impact throughout history continue to be perpetuated, and in effect, prevent real progress from taking place. In addition, Cooper explains why the past can't simply be let go of, as political conditions and societal clashes have repeated themselves to the detriment of minorities. In this sense, white people have continued to control time as they've been able to dictate which minorities are granted rights and when.

In the US, many of these rights are facing rollbacks as well, such as the restrictions being placed on voting rights, which prevents black voices from being heard in societies that are supposedly democratic. Due to these inequalities, minorities are often seen as "space-takers," rather than "world-makers." By highlighting the relevancy of time when it comes to racial politics, Cooper prompts her audience to consider how they fit into their current context, and what the future will look like if those that are affected remain complacent.